BRATENAHL, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered the story of what happened when a thief stole a local mail truck. And, we have video showing a surprise police later found inside.
Friday, a woman called Bratenahl police saying, “He just stole the mail truck!”
She watched your mail going off to the wrong zip code as a man hopped in the truck and drove away. Two women told police the man driving off had first badgered them to use a phone.
The witness who’d called 911 said, “Then, he saw the mail truck, and I’m like, maybe he’s asking that guy for a ride. And, he didn’t. He got in the truck and drove all the way down there.”
Bratenahl police video also shows an officer asking the mail carrier, “Are you alright?”
The carrier answered, “Yes.” And, he shook his head in disgust.
A police report shows the mail carrier said he parked his truck at the end of a long driveway. He said he’d seen a bunch of vehicles in the driveway from some kind of contractor work crews. So, he left his truck at the end of the driveway and walked with mail up to a house.
The carrier told police, “Got the mail. I got the mail. Walked up. Started coming back. He was taking off.”
You might wonder what we wondered, and police wondered. An officer asked, “Were the keys in the truck?”
The carrier answered, “My fault. Left the keys in the ignition.”
When Bratenahl police got there, they met the suspect.
An officer asked, “Why’d you take the mail truck?”
The suspect answered, “A U-Haul.”
The officer responded, “I don’t think that’s a U-Haul.”
But, inside, police found more than mail in the truck. They found a big screen TV.
The mail carrier determined no mail was missing, but he had no explanation for how the TV was added.
Euclid police and Bratenahl police are investigating.
The US Postal Service is not handling the case since no mail ended up missing, and there was no damage to the truck. At the same time, the US Postal Inspection Service says carriers are “recommended to physically secure…vehicles and mail.”
The carrier also told police, the truck stolen is a truck he drives every day.
Police have started filing charges against Richard Turpin. We tried calling a number for him listed on a police report, and a woman told us we had the wrong number.